Cebuana beauty queen among 2018 Bar Exam passers
Vanessa Balbuena (The Freeman) - May 4, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Karla Bautista-Siao was appeasing her eldest daughter at the doctor’s office when news came in yesterday that she was one of the 1,800 that hurdled the 2018 Bar exams.

A Miss Cebu 2003 and Miss World 2014 Asia and Oceania (Top 15 finalist) title-holder, Karla finally fulfills a childhood dream that began at eight years old.

She first took up Philosophy at the University of San Carlos (USC) before transferring to the University of the Philippines Cebu where she earned a Mass Communications degree. In 2013, she took up Law studies at USC, but stopped for a year when she got pregnant with her second child. She graduated in 2018 and took the Bar the same year.

Currently 25 weeks pregnant (she’s due this August), the former model recounts to The FREEMAN her road to being Atty. Karla Bautista-Siao.

Where were you when you learned you passed, who told you, what were you doing?

I was with my family – hubby and kids. We were at a doctor’s clinic since my eldest had an appointment. It was my lawyer friend, Summer, who sent me a photo (which would not load) and a message in messenger. Then other friends and relatives sent and called right after. But I couldn’t answer right away since it was exactly the time my eldest had a procedure done in the clinic and she was crying! My daughter’s earring got embedded in her earlobe so we had it taken out at the doctor to avoid further infection. It was a painful procedure for her so the whole time her dad was carrying her and I was holding her hands. I was nervous about the results and I was also worried about her.

Is being a lawyer a childhood dream?

Yes, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer since I was eight years old. But I had to put the dream on hold since I needed to work to support my family and save up for law school.

How did you juggle law school, motherhood and marriage?

It was really difficult and there were so many times I would doubt myself. But I am blessed because I’m surrounded by people who support me – family, friends, teachers and staff. Family has and always will be my top priority and I’d always be grateful to my hubby and kids for being so understanding and patient. Our household helpers are also angels who help me juggle the household responsibilities and taking care of the kids.

What area of law do you plan to specialize in?

Honestly, I'm not even thinking about what to specialize in. But I've always wanted to go into public service.

How do you plan to celebrate?

I plan to go back to all the churches I visited prior to taking the Bar then dinner with family. I will visit also my parents' grave and thank them for always being my inspiration.

Any advice to future Bar takers?

My advice to future bar takers would be to make sure you balance everything. Study hard, but don't forget to have time for yourself and loved ones too. Its impossible to know everything. So don't be too hard on yourself. Make sure you are still enjoying the process of learning and reaching for that dream. And pray. Always.

What were the easy and hardest subjects for you?

Honestly, all subjects were hard for me! I don’t even remember the questions anymore.

What was your review method?

I actually started reviewing late – July. After graduation, I made sure to take a break. I travelled and spent time with family. I flew to Manila for the review around August so I’d have less distractions. I have a schedule which I tried to follow as much as possible. I would try to stay ahead of schedule so I can go home on weekends and see my family. If I’m behind, then I just have to find time to catch up. I can’t say I studied as much as I wanted to, but it was my best effort to balance review, work and family.

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